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What happened to the missing Malaysian flight? A visual guide

It's the biggest mystery in recent aviation history. What happened to Flight MH370, which vanished after departing Malaysia on March 8. Here's a visual look at the theories, flight paths and search areas.

1. Flight departs

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Flight departs at 12:41 a.m., and is due to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. the same day.

2. Contact lost

March 8: Airline loses contact with plane between 1-2 hours after takeoff. Flight tracking shows plane flew northeast over Malaysia after takeoff and climbed to altitude of 35,000 feet.

3. Debris spotted

March 8: Twelve-mile long oil slick and debris spotted between Malaysia and Vietnam. It was the first of many daily sightings of debris in the water, including some reported by China, that were debunked as being linked to the missing plane.

4. Plane attempted to turn around

March 9: Malaysian military says the plane may have attempted to turn around. Radar indicates flight may have turned back from its scheduled route to Beijing before disappearing.

5. Search widens

March 10: Dozens of ships and aircraft from seven countries scour the seas around Malaysia and south of Vietnam

6. New theory

March 11: Military says the flight may have reached the Strait of Malacca, to the west

7. Search widens again

March 12: The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet expands to an area stretching from China to India

8. New information

March 13: Reports emerge that Flight 370 was in the air for five hours, citing sources who say the plane was in contact with a satellite network that collects data for the plane’s manufacturer, Boeing.

9. Was the plane hijacked?

March 14: Indian officials begin searching hundreds of uninhabited islands in the Andaman Sea using heat-seeking devices. Officials are now openly speculating that one of the pilots or a hijacker may have taken over the aircraft.

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